Large-Scale Human Trafficking Bust Rescues 100 Victims in Ohio, 1000s of Kids Still Missing


A large-scale statewide human trafficking operation in Ohio, dubbed ‘Operation Buyer’s Remorse,’ saw the arrest of 160 perpetrators and over 100 victims rescued.

The Southeastern Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force and local law enforcement agencies led the week-long operation.

“Law enforcement across Ohio teamed up in a concerted effort to stem the demand that fuels human trafficking,” Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said in a press release.

“The success of this operation is measured not only by the number of arrests but also by the resources offered to survivors of human trafficking and the intelligence gathered that will propel long-term investigations forward.”

Last month, The Daily Fetched reported on the record number of missing kids in Northern Ohio this year alone.

In September, over 45 children went missing in the Cleveland-Akron area.

In August, there were 35 reported missing children, according to the Ohio Attorney General’s missing children website.

Yost said the number of missing kids in Ohio is alarming.

“Yes, of course, we are worried about that,” Yost told News 5 Cleveland.

The latest anti-human trafficking operation was led by AG Yost’s Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission (OOCIC), taking place between September 25 and September 30.

The crackdown spanned across the state, including:








Thanks to the coordinated “stings” conducted by OOCIC’s eight human trafficking task forces, 160 arrests were made.

The anti-human trafficking efforts were helped by local law enforcement agencies.

As part of the long-term investigation, search warrants were executed at 11 massage parlors suspected of human trafficking activities.

Those arrested included various people from different backgrounds, including EMT, nurses, educators, retirees, former law enforcement officers, and delivery drivers.

The youngest person arrested was just 17, and the oldest was 84.

Law enforcement officers interviewed one hundred four victims before they were given healthcare and transferred to social service organizations.

“Nearly 100 law enforcement agencies and service organizations participated in this operation – I am grateful for each and every partner who dedicated their time and resources, as we all play a key role in the fight against human trafficking,” Yost added.


Operation Highlights from the Ohio Attorney General:

  • The HEAL Human Trafficking Task Force, consisting of the Huron, Erie, Ashland and Lorain Sheriff’s Offices, along with the Northeast Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force, conducted a search warrant on an illicit massage parlor in Lorain County. The search warrant resulted in the seizure of more than $49,000 and furthered an active investigation into criminal activity and potential human trafficking.
  • The Columbus Division of Police’s PACT Unit (Police and Community Together) made 62 arrests over five days. The unit arrested Delbert Thomas, 75, of Columbus, twice on the same day. After the first arrest, Thomas sought to buy sex in a different area of the city and was arrested a second time. The PACT Unit also arrested Joseph Henry, 47, of Columbus, who is a registered sex offender.
  • The Toledo Police Department and US Border Patrol served search warrants on five illicit massage parlors. The search led to the seizure of $25,000 and numerous electronic devices associated with the businesses. Kwi Hood, Ziaojing Yuan, Chunya Jiao, Junjuan Tao, Young Stone, and Xiaoyan Gou are all facing charges of promoting prostitution.
  • The Summit Regional Human Trafficking Task Force served four search warrants on illicit massage parlors as part of ongoing investigations. Seven survivors of human trafficking were offered social services.
  • The Madison County Sheriff’s Office arrested one individual for felony possession of narcotics.
  • The Montgomery County Human Trafficking Task Force conducted a john sting operation and arrested Shawn Ryken, a staff sergeant, and Jason Goins, a major, from the US Air Force, as well as Michael Masterson, an administrator at the University of Dayton, and Ramesh Karki, a professor at Indiana University.
  • The Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force arrested Jordan Perez, 35, of Masury, Ohio, on charges of engaging in prostitution and possessing criminal tools. Perez brought a firearm to buy sex – but did not bring any money. He claimed he intended to pay for sexual services via a web app.
  • The Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office and Lancaster Police Department arrested Nick Claybourn, 29, of Rushville on charges of engaging in prostitution. Claybourn is a sixth-grade teacher in the Fairfield Union Local School District.
  • During their operation, the Southeast Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force had several encounters with individuals that led to felony arrests. Ethan Ross, 22, of Lowell, was arrested on an active warrant for kidnapping, a first-degree felony, and on a felonious assault charge, a second-degree felony. Jamey Lacy, 46, of Zanesville, was arrested and charged with trafficking in drugs in a school zone, a fifth-degree felony, possession of a controlled substance, a fifth-degree felony, and soliciting, a third-degree felony. The task force also executed a search warrant on a suspected massage parlor in Belpre.
  • The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and Department of Public Safety offered services to 37 potential victims of human trafficking during two daylong outreach events.

READ: Trump Vows to End Child Trafficking, Reinstate Title 42 When Elected President

Las Vegas News Magazine

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